As I mentioned a while ago, we put on a showing on this film at school for the kids doing Revolutions (we’re doing Russia, of course, and eventually China, which is a bit scary for me…). Very few turned up, which was a bit disappointing, but since I hadn’t seen it it was at least a good chance for me to watch it.
It was made in 1982, and it moves very slowly. Very slowly. If it wasn’t for the historical aspect, I would go so far as to say that it was very boring. Except for the point at which I realised that Ra-Ra-Rasputin was played by Tom Baker; that was a very funny moment, almost brain-messingly so.
The most interesting part was how the relationship between Nicky and ‘Sunny’ (I think that was her nickname) was shown… which makes sense, given the title. Most of the time, she is shown as completely domineering, which I think does indeed have some historical evidence to back it up. There are a few occasions where Nicky stands up to her, but very few. And Nicky’s reaction when he has to admit his abdication to Alexandra – it was amazing, and heartbreaking, and horrifying as well – that he broke down, and seemed almost to have a nervous breakdown, I think from the sheer shame of the event. I wonder how much evidence there is to support that idea.
We didn’t get to the end – it was hometime right when Lenin started doing his April Theses thing. Related to this is one of my biggest beefs with the film: I don’t think Trotsky had anything to do with Lenin and the Bolsheviks in 1905 – in fact, not even by 1917, really – and yet in the film they are shown together right back as far as Bloody Sunday, almost. Pft.
Kerensky was probably my favourite bit-part. Possibly because I think he is in ‘real life’, too.